Pitta, one of the doshas represented by the fire and water element, is most prominent in the heated months. Nowadays, an overactive Pitta is common even in the deep, cool winter months.
Fires roar(ed) in California. Fingers twirl endlessly, searching to blame. Road rage swerves in every lane. Long hours are traded in for a larger paycheck. We buy materials with one click, same-day delivery, never a need to wait in line.
We have goals to hit, money to make, places to be, things to do, with no time to spare. Get out of my way – we’re moving forward, and fast. We’ll sleep when we’re dead.
With competitive jobs, kudos for overtime, and the dream of ‘making it big’, our culture in the West seems to praise and feed the Pitta dosha.
What are the doshas again?
There are three doshas which correlate to physiological and mental characteristics: Vatta (air and ether), Pitta (fire and water), and Kapha (earth and water). Our doshas aren’t sliced in perfect thirds, which makes sense – our compositions are different, so are our personalities, genetics, and purpose in life – but we do have each dosha.
In general, personality types of dominant Vattas tend to be creative and spacey, Pittas all-in and hardworking, and Kaphas laid-back and nurturing.
An overpowering or lackluster dosha discomforts the body and mind, and sometimes the people nearby, too. Thankfully, there are tips and tricks to soothe active doshas and invigorate dormant ones.
Signs of Overactive Pitta
The Pitta dosha controls digestion, metabolism, how we establish things as right or wrong, and energy production. Pitta is responsible for transformation – reaching for more and challenging oneself.
As with every dosha, we need Pitta. Pittas understand quickly, thrive in a fast-paced, intense work environment, and certainly have the passion to get the job done. However, Pittas may burn themselves out, not know when to stop, and become competitive.
In the body, an overactive Pitta looks like excessive heat, sweating, eczema, rashes, acid reflux, unquenched thirst and hunger, nausea, red eyes or yellowing skin, loose stools and diarrhea.
In the mind, a dominant Pitta dosha correlates with anger, irritability, quickness to judgement, intolerance, criticism, impatience, envy, and perfectionist tendencies.
Additionally, it may be hard for Pittas to recognize that they have an overactive Pitta, as it may be hard for their ego to handle the imperfection.
On the other hand, someone with an underactive Pitta lacks warmth and luster in the body, no desire to finish a task, a dull outlook on life, disinterest in work, and a weak digestive system.
Cooling Down the Pitta Fire
To balance a the strong Pitta dosha, we recommend cooling yourself down by SLOWING down. Try to exert only 75 percent of your energy in the next (non-heated!) yoga class, scheduling in downtime to relax, meditate, read a book, and let someone else take control every once in a while.
Eat meals at the same time every day for optimal digestion, and don’t skip meals. Try to mindfully focus on each bite! Avoid overly heating, spicy foods, refrain from multitasking while eating, and take a big breath after each meal.
Go for long strolls in the moonlight, pick fresh flowers for your office, and spend time in nature. Before bed and in the morning, massage coconut oil on your body.
Eat lots of cooling, astringent foods, like raw foods, beans, coriander, cilantro, fennel and cardamom. Any foods that are cooling in temperature and energy will help.
Overall, the Pitta dosha is imperative to be lit up in order to create that drive and fiery passion we all need to get things done. However, it is important for Pittas (and non Pittas) to take a step back, a deep breath, relish in the present moment, and reflect on all of their hard work. It is easy to get caught up in competition, but remember to stay mindful, grateful, and have some fun!